Naomi Osaka fined $ 15,000, faces suspension for boycotting press conferences


Champion tennis player Naomi Osaka has been fined $ 15,000 and threatened with suspension from future Grand Slam tournaments after she kept her promise last week to boycott press conferences during the French Open over concerns for his sanity.


Osaka, currently ranked world No.2, beat Romanian player Patricia Maria Țig in straight sets Sunday morning in Paris and skipped the traditional post-match presser after saying last week that media questions could be harmful to the mental health of athletes. .

Roland Garros, the organizer of the French Open, announced soon after that Osaka would be fined $ 15,000 for not attending the mandatory press conference.

The organizers of the four Grand Slam tournaments – the most prestigious tennis tournaments in the world – said in a joint statement that further violations of its media obligations by Osaka could result in more fines, be removed from the Paris tournament and even of the future. Suspensions of the Grand Slam tournament.

“A central element of the Grand Slam regulations is the players’ responsibility to engage with the media, regardless of the outcome of their match, a responsibility that the players assume for the benefit of the sport, the supporters and for themselves” , the tennis organizations said in a statement Sunday.

Osaka said last week she would not attend press conferences during the French Open in an effort to help preserve her sanity and would only pay the fines she receives, claiming journalists are asking questions of the athletes “who breed the doubt in our minds and I’m just not going to do it. submit me to people who doubt me.

Osaka’s next match, against Romania’s Ana Bogdan, is scheduled for Tuesday.

Large number

$ 37 million. This is how much money Osaka raised between May 2019 and May 2020, according to a Forbes estimate, making her the highest-paid female athlete of all time in a single year.


Osaka’s other professional tennis players are divided over the 23-year-old’s bold statements about press obligations. Ashleigh Barty, currently ranked best player in the world, said last week “the press is sort of part of the workIn response to questions about the Osaka boycott. “We know what we’re committed to as professional tennis players,” said Barty, the 2019 Roland Garros champion. “But I can’t comment (Osaka) personally for what she’s going through.”

Crucial quote

“If organizations think they can keep saying, ‘Lobby or you’re going to be fined,’ and keep saying ignore sanity of their athletes who are the centerpiece of their [organizations] so I just have to laugh, ”Osaka said last week.

Key context

Osaka in a statement last week said that press conferences that professional athletes are required to attend to support its belief that “people don’t care about the mental health of athletes,” citing examples of athletes who do. collapsed in a press room after a hard defeat. “I believe the whole situation is to kick a person while on the ground and I don’t understand the reasoning behind it, ”Osaka said. The four Grand Slam organizers said in their Sunday statement that they are committed to improve mental health resources for their players.

Further reading

Naomi Osaka is the highest-paid female athlete of all time, ahead of Serena Williams (Forbes)

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